A 6-year-old boy who was reported missing from Miami more than two months ago has been found in a city in Canada.
Jorge “Jojo” Morales was discovered “in good health” and “safe and sound” Sunday in Moncton, New Brunswick, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) confirmed on Twitter.
According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, a member of the public spotted the missing child and his father, Jorge Gabriel Morales, at a Walmart in Moncton and recognized the boy’s face from media reports.
“I’m just so happy because my son is OK, I feared the worst,” Yanet Leal Concepcion, Jojo’s mother told Local10.
Concepcion initially reported her son was missing Aug. 27 after his father failed to return him to his her, violating a custody agreement, according to police.
When she went to her ex-husband's apartment to check on her child, “everything was gone. Everything was gone from his apartment,” she said. “His phones were off. His mom’s phone was off.”
A missing person alert was issued after the abduction, naming his father and paternal grandmother, Lillian Pena Morales.
Authorities believed the boy could have been in eastern Canada or Maine after the 2006 Ford Expedition truck driven by Jorge was found in Maine on Sept. 26. The FBI subsequently released surveillance footage from a Walgreens in Houlton, confirming Jojo was in the state of Maine at some point during his travels. Police also allegedly found items belonging to the child in the vehicle.
“Every mother fears the worst and I’m just... I can’t, my body is like leaving my soul. I’m just so happy I can’t stop crying.”
“All I said was, ‘Hey, baby! I missed you!’ and he says, ‘It’s mommy, it’s mommy!’”
According to Local10, Jojo, who has autism, “has been relatively unaware of what he’s been through in the last two months.”
Jojo’s father and grandmother have been taken into custody, Miami-Dade police confirmed, with the arrest of the 45-year-old man undertaken “without incident” at a business on Plaza Boulevard. He is currently in police custody. Lillian, 68, who was also sought in the investigation, was also arrested without incident on Village-Des-Cormier Road in Saint-Paul and is now in police custody.
“This is another example how local, state, federal, and international law enforcement, along with the United States and State Attorney’s Office coming together for the safety of a child and will continue to work together to fight the greater evil,” Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez said in a statement.